Busy, busy, busy… and yet, I’ve still been more lax on my author work plans during my year end time off from the job-that-pays-the-bills than I intended to be this week. There have been a couple of days that I did not type any on the MS for my next book, Hell’s Dodo.
Just today, however, I found myself doing a minor rewrite on chapter 12. It seems I’d forgotten that the character in this chapter already knew about a certain subject when I wrote the first draft. Thankfully, it was an easy fix without having to scrap the entire scene and start over.
During the typing up from the handwritten draft is when I do my first round of editing/revising. By the time I reach this stage, the MS has been sitting for a few months at least, and I can attack it with a fresh mind that isn’t as likely to miss mistakes like the one mentioned above.
Once I’ve finished typing the MS into a Word98 document (a requirement by my publisher which would take longer to explain than I wish to spend on it; but it has a sound reason), I will let it sit for a month or two, at least. The second round of revisions will be spent on tightening the storyline, adding elements to the early chapters about who and what my main character is and the driving force behind his quest, and checking spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. It will also involve fighting with Word’s less-than-extensive grammar guide and word recognition. I’ve lost track of how often I’ve had to refer to my handy copy of Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary to confirm correct spelling/usage of a word that MSWord insists does not exist.
My goal is to make each book in the series stand on its own as a story yet encourage any new readers who stumble upon it out of reading order to seek out the other books in the series.
Right now, I’m sure I suck at this; but I should improve with practice.
I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday season, and I wish you all a Happy, Prosperous, and Productive New Year!